art, poetry, unschooling

around home

The kids have been doing some chores.


They’ve been playing MineCraft and Gavin has been researching how to learn Java (programming language) so he can make mods for MineCraft.

Gavin worked on his book and Lilah began a comic book about two cats.


We biked to the park and then Gavin went home for the foam swords and they battled.

We drove down to a raspberry farm where you can pick your own berries and pay by the pound to meet with friends and pick raspberries. We ended up with lots of yummy berries and Lilah decided that she likes raspberries after trying them. We all agreed that they tasted much better than what we can find in the grocery store.

One afternoon we biked our furthest trip with the kids yet, out to a park with giant cat sculptures.


We played a round of Above and Below, Gavin’s new game.

The kids played No Stress Chess.

We tie dyed some more things, pillow cases, a dress for Lilah, t shirt for Gavin, some sheets for Chris and I and a tablecloth for picnics and camping!

All four of went to a picnic at the park with our local unschooling group. There was baseball, soccer, a parachute, a playground, Pokemon Go, tree climbing, and so much more.

On my birthday evening we hiked up to Cecret Lake. The kids were interested in the wrongly spelled name. They climbed the rocks on the way up and we spotted a hawk eating its dinner about ten feet from the trail. At the top we spotted a bunch of salamanders in the lake and watched the sun set. It was beautiful.

We went to a concert in a park and the kids danced and danced. I wish I had pictures but it was dark so I don’t.

We went on a walk up City Creek Canyon nearby. Lilah and I dipped our feet in the water. The kids tossed rocks and tried to splash across the stream. We saw a little snake swimming and then a bigger snake with something in its’ mouth. When we got closer we saw it was swallowing a fish! It moved it’s mouth and a minute later the fish was just a lump in it’s belly and it was off to do other things.

On the way down we spotted a coyote up on a hill. It spotted us too and we looked at each other for thirty seconds or so until it trotted off, over the crest and out of sight.

We went to a Renaissance Faire, got dressed up and saw a jousting session, armored fighting, horseback gymnastics and we even petted some goats and pigs. We are looking forward to going again next year.

The kids have been reading a lot of Shel Silverstein poetry and many graphic novels. At bedtime Chris is reading Eragon and the Harry Potter series to them. Gavin has been doing research on Skylanders, a video game that he’s interested in both on the internet and by checking library books on the game out and has recently started doing many chores to save up to purchase some of them soon.

Today we went to the water park for a last visit of the summer and are getting ready to head to northern California to see grandparents and the beach this weekend. I can’t wait!



Yellowstone Park

We went to Yellowstone National Park over a weekend and then, we went again the next weekend with family! It was a little crazy, being home for 3 days to do laundry and grocery runs and then head back the same place but it was so much fun to be in the park.


We lounged in hammocks with friends and the kids played a game based on Pokemon for hours together.


We walked up the road to the lake shore and the kids swam and kayaked and played in the sand.


We huddled under a canopy and played games while it rained and then roasted marshmallows as it sprinkled.


We dipped our feet in the Firehole river and picnicked with the company of jays, ravens, chipmunks, a deer.

We walked miles and miles and waited and waited to see several spectacular geysers as well as really wonderful smaller ones. We admired hot springs and fumaroles.

There are all kinds of surprises in Yellowstone, but I didn’t expect this one: a smily face out of nails in the boardwalk.


We even got a game or two in while camping! (We LOVE games in this family!)


We spotted bison, including two who were head butting each other. We saw elk lounging by the river and crossing streets. We saw deer and a fox. We heard Sandhill cranes in the mornings. We even spotted a swallow landing in a hole in a post on a walkway bridge. We looked inside and saw two baby swallows looking back!

The kids built a fire with minimal assistance and happily tended it while Chris and I worked to make breakfast and pack up camp.

It’s a beautiful place and we thoroughly enjoyed it.







wheels and waves and lizards

We drove to a new friends’ house and the kids played nerf gun attacks, played in the pool and played MineCraft together. They had a great time. Gavin was super excited to ride this mini motorcycle with his friends instructions and encouragement!


We went roller skating for the first time all summer! It was fun. The kids wanted to play in the bounce area and climbing area so I asked them to clean the living room and in return I would pay extra for them to do those things. We all skated for a bit and then the kids went to climb and bounce and I skated a bit more myself.


Chris and the kids went bowling with their Scout group. They had a good time and Gavin had a good game of it. The last time we went (a year or so ago) he was frustrated by his gutter balls.


We went up to Silver Lake for a picnic, walk and a climb. It was lovely and cool up there. The kids climbed this rock and looked down on us. On the other side of the lake there was frolicking.

We walked to the library and checked out some more graphic novels for the kids. Gavin knows right where books about MineCraft and Lego are and Lilah is well acquainted with the non-fiction animals shelves.

Lilah’s been folding tiny origami things, mostly animals.

Gavin celebrated his 11th birthday last week with friends at a playgroup, again with friends out for miniature golf and more bowling and then the next day with family for games and love. Wow! After hanging out with grandma and grandpa and aunt and us, he chose to go out for his favorite, Thai food for dinner.

We went to the water park and enjoyed cooling off in the wave pool and lazy river and occasionally taking shady breaks to lounge in the tubes.


We’ve been watching lizards in our front yard. There are at least two, skittering around under our plants and occasionally showing their stripey, blue tinged selves. How fun!

Gavin and Lilah made things from a tinker crate and from Gavin’s birthday loot. Gavin made a robot and Lilah made a racing car.


Gavin asked for a big set of colored pencils for his birthday (Anytime the kids ask for art materials I pretty much drop everything and run to the store. Haha!) and has been enjoying organizing them and examining how the pencils are organized by their numbers and trying them with some drawings.

The kids have been watching Pokemon, jump-started by playing Pokemon Go and telling me all about the Pokemon universe and its inhabitants. Lilah even decorated a balloon as Pikachu.

We’ve been enjoying the water park most weeks this summer. This week Gavin went on his first water slide with my sister who joined us. He was so excited!



Eleven years old! We even got to talk about how “teenage” usually refers to the numbers with “teen” in them though the set between 10 and 19 obviously go together in their own space and what a “tween” is.